Homemade “Magic” Shell


What could possibly be better than homemade vanilla ice cream?  How about homemade vanilla ice cream covered in a beautiful, hard chocolate shell! 

Growing up, every time my aunt made homemade ice cream for us, she always served it with chocolate magic shell. Always!  If there was homemade ice cream there was chocolate magic shell, and wow, was it good!

I wondered if there was a way to make the magic shell at home to make it a little healthier.  Turns out there is!  All of the recipes that I found called for two ingredients – chocolate chips and some sort of oil.  We don’t typically have chocolate chips on hand (and I’m not fond of some of the ingredients in them), so I set about to come up with a recipe that didn’t use them.  And here it is!  Simply delicious – enjoy!



Combine cocoa powder, powdered sucanat, and coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk until combined and sucanat is completely dissolved.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Let it cool slightly and then spoon over ice cream.  Let harden and enjoy!


To make powdered sucanat, simply blend sucanat in a blender until it reaches a powdery consistency, similar to powdered sugar.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the cupboard.  Leftovers will last for a very long time, but you will most likely need to reheat to get to a pourable consistency.

I use extra virgin coconut oil which does lend a slight coconut flavor (which I love!)  If you are not fond of coconut, you can use a refined coconut oil that is flavorless. 

Try using different flavors and amounts of extracts for fun, new flavors.  I can’t wait to try peppermint!

This recipe has been shared with Fight Back Friday, Living Well Blog Hop, Pennywise Platter, Simple Lives Thursday, Things I Love Thursday, Full Plate Thursdays, Real Food Wednesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, and What’s on Your Plate.  Check them out for more great recipes and ideas!


  1. That is so neat. I remember Magic Shell and how good it was on ice cream. I’d love it if you could come by this weekend and link it up to Sweets for a Saturday. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com
    Lisa @ Sweet as Sugar Cookies recently posted..Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies

  2. Sara says:

    Oh. My. I love ice cream and chocolate sauce. Is it too early to eat some now? I will definitely add this to my recipe list. How does it “keep” if you don’t use it all in one sitting? (I’m sure that rarely happens!)

    • Mindy says:

      Hi Sara! This actually keeps very well. Just put it in an airtight container in the cupboard and it will keep for a long time. Depending on the temperature in your house, you made need to reheat it to get it to a pourable consistency.

  3. HI! I am so excited to try this! We don’t have any homemade ice cream in the house right now, but now we’ll have to do it! Yum! I used to love this when I was a kid in my “pre-healthy” days :-).
    Adrienne @ Whole New Mom recently posted..Considering a CSA Information You Must Know — at Modern Alternative Mama

  4. Leigh says:

    oh wow!!!! this looks fabulous – and i have everything on hand!!! thank you!

  5. Miz Helen says:

    Hi Mindy,
    Wow, we will be making this maybe tonight. This will be a great addition to our evening treat time. Thanks for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and come back soon!
    Miz Helen recently posted..Full Plate Thursday 6-2-11

  6. this is genius my son is going to love this one! thank you!
    claudia lamascolo recently posted..Blueberry Sour Creme Fraiche Muffins and Friends

  7. Tina H. says:

    Thanks for posting this on the Living Well Blog Hop. It sure looks yummy and simple – something I should definitely try with my children this summer! :^)
    Tina H. recently posted..Living Well Blog Hop- Week 1

  8. Julieanne says:

    This is fantabulous! My daughters will love this!


  9. Muriel says:

    I know this post is kind of old, but maybe someone can still answer my question. Can I use something like honey in place of the sucanat? Sucanat is something we don’t normally have on hand. Thanks so much for this recipe, I’m going to try it with roasted banana ice cream.

    • Mindy says:

      Hi Muriel! I originally tried honey when I was working on this recipe, and it did not harden as well for me as when I used sucanat. It still tasted good, but it was kind of a chewy shell rather than a hard shell. If you don’t have sucanat, but still want a hard shell, I would try any granulated sweetener (such as white or brown sugar) or possibly even stevia. Hope this helps.

      And roasted banana ice cream sounds amazing! Do you have a recipe? I would love for you to share if so! :-)

  10. Muriel says:

    Thanks for the advice,
    I use this recipe for the ice cream: http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2009/02/the-ice-dream-cookbook-review-roasted-banana-ice-cream-with-hot-fudge-sauce.html
    It’s amazing and one of those things that just needs a chocolate pairing:

  11. Muriel says:

    Thanks for the advice Mindy,
    I use this recipe for the ice cream: http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2009/02/the-ice-dream-cookbook-review-roasted-banana-ice-cream-with-hot-fudge-sauce.html
    It’s very good, and one of those things that needs to be paired with chocolate.

  12. Muriel says:

    oops sorry, I forgot that I commented already

  13. Mindy,
    Hi there. Well, I tried this recipe 3 different times last night, but each time it flopped.

    The first 2 times I realized that I had not powdered the sweetener, but the 3rd time I did and it still didn’t work.

    I did use an alternative granulated sweetener, but alas, no success? I am going to poke around on the internet, but wanted to know if you’d had any flops? It was way too thick. Almost like cookie dough :(.

    Happy Fourth!
    Adrienne @ Whole New Mom recently posted..Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (w/ dairy-free and sugar-free options)

    • Mindy says:

      Oh no, Adrienne! I’m sorry for all your trouble!

      I have made this recipe many times, and it has never flopped for me. Are you heating the mixture over the stove to melt the coconut oil? That is really the only thing that I can think of that could be wrong, unless it is the alternative sweetener that you are using. I always use sucanat, so I’m not sure how other sweeteners would work, but I really don’t see how that could affect the consistency that drastically.

      Hmmm…let me know if the heating thing solves your problem or if you figure anything else out.

  14. Hope says:

    Umm wow! Why have i never thought of powdering my sucanat!? genius! Just found your little blog and am loving your recipes! Now i needa try sourdoughnuts with powdered sucanat!

  15. Cheryl says:

    This sounds like a great alternative for when I don’t have chips on hand! :)
    If you ever want healthy(er) chocolate chips, I recommend Enjoy Life semi-sweet mini chocolate chips (the only kind I’ll buy). They only have 3 ingredients in them: evap cane sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter. I melt them together in a 1:1 ratio with grass-fed butter – LOVE IT! It’s the perfect richness of flavor, for me; and makes a great hard, but not too hard shell on ice cream. (Sometimes I just make a little batch and eat it on it’s own for a snack :D)


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